Updated:
Original:

Looking for an unsung State Fair animal? Hop to it

Author:

We crowd around Minnesota's biggest boar and the sow with her piglets. We watch the cows as they're led to and from the dairy barn. The horses parade around a coliseum.

But what about the rabbits? Oh yeah, there are rabbits at the State Fair, too ...

You don't have to remind Sage Hagans of that.

To the 16-year-old 4-Her from Minneapolis, there's no better animal at the fairgrounds – although she does make her love for the creatures sound a little like a malady.

"I spent too much time in the rabbit barn and got the rabbit sickness," Sage told BringMeTheNews. "Most people probably think I'm crazy."

The rabbit disease strikes at a young age too. Sage was only 3 or 4 years old when she first visited the State Fair.

"I'd spend all day in the rabbit barns," she says.

Sage was at the Fair Thursday with La Brea, who is a Satin. That's one of the 49 breeds recognized by the American Rabbit Breeders Association.

What makes a champion rabbit?

Some rabbits are raised for meat, others for their fur. Some have wool that can be harvested over and over like a sheep.

With four dozen different kinds that all have their own specialties, how can you tell which rabbits are really special?

Look it up in the book.

The Breeders Association (the ARBA, to those with rabbit sickness) lays out the traits that each of its recognized breeds should have in a book called "Standard of Perfection" (which Sage just happens to be carrying in her backpack).

Richard Steinberg of Owatonna, who has been judging rabbits at fairs since 1974, says the hindquarters are the most important body part for the meat breeds. And for the fur ones it's ... the fur.

What's most important for those of us who aren't judges and don't have the rabbit sickness – at least not yet? It might be the cuteness factor.

When Sage Hagans is asked what she likes best about having rabbits, she answers: "They're so sociable and sweet. You can have a relationship with them."

Even if there is a sickness involved, it seems to be a healthy one.

The competition

The 4-H rabbit judging is scheduled for Saturday. It's one of several livestock competitions happening through Sunday.

You can check out the 4-H livestock page here.

Here's a look at a returning competitor, prepping for the big day.

https://twitter.com/mnstatefair/status/768939281356169216

Next Up

moose minnesota usfws - flickr

MN homeowner mistakes large tent for dead moose

They spotted two people on a security camera dragging the "moose" across a driveway.

Flickr - minneapolis police officer close-up belt camera - Tony Webster

What happens if Mpls. public safety question passes? City memo provides answers

The memo was sent to the mayor and council members Tuesday morning.

Wild

COVID-19 hits Minnesota Wild coaching staff

The Wild will be shorthanded for Tuesday night's game in Vancouver.

Anthony Edwards

Ant takes alpha role after bad loss: 'We need to lock the f*** in'

The Timberwolves' rising star was not happy after Monday's loss to the Pelicans.

parker eisinger

Lakeville football player diagnosed with cancer week before playoffs

The tenth-grader was diagnosed with a form of cancer most commonly found in people aged 65 and older.

University of Minnesota peeping tom suspect

Someone keeps trying to film showering women at U of M

The university has received three reports in the past two weeks.

john Fluevog shoes 1

John Fluevog Shoes closes its Uptown Minneapolis store

The brand could return to the Twin Cities one day.

sidecar drink

Sidecar — Town Hall's new cocktail lounge — is officially open in Minneapolis

It's the fifth Town Hall location, but the first to focus on cocktails.

Screen Shot 2019-07-18 at 9.10.30 AM

Here's where DFLers stand on Minneapolis' public safety ballot question

The question would create a Department of Public Safety and remove some requirements.

Arthur Kollie

Man pleads guilty to brutal murder of 14-year-old girl in Fargo

The 14-year-old girl was the victim of a random attack outside a Fargo strip mall.

Minneapolis Mayoral Candidates 2021 - jacob frey sheila nezhad kate knuth

Here's who has endorsed the frontrunners for Minneapolis mayor

Politicians and community groups are voicing their opinions.

Related